Welcome to SaaS thoughts

Whether you call it Software as a Service (SaaS), Managed Service Provider (MSP) or On-Demand Services, your organization uses the service running “in the cloud”. This blog will discuss these services, their benefits, drawbacks and operations. Are we biased? Yes. We believe that some services make sense for most organizations. Email security is one of those. However as Mark Twain said, “All generalizations are false, even this one.” Each Tuesday we will post information and questions about Software as a Service. Occasionally, we will have a "Guest Post" from either a consultant or vendor posting her/his thoughts on Managed Services generally as well as some degree of specificity based on her/his unique perspective. We encourage your insights, comments and feedback. Welcome.

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Future of SaaS – Just Another IT Fad?


What’s next for software-as-a-service (SaaS)? Where does the future lay for this flexible, affordable software model? Despite what some naysayers have written about SaaS, it is not just another IT fad. As user demand pushes the SaaS model forward, businesses are looking to strengthen their infrastructure and capacity through use of the service. Additionally, opportunities for expansion throughout the IT function mean that there are many venues through which SaaS can grow.

One of the areas for growth is that of network and information security. As many IT departments are aware of, while the number of threats and regulatory demands have grown over the years, their budgets have not kept pace, leaving IT resources stressed. In the security realm, SaaS offers a way for businesses to not only save on their infrastructure and maintenance costs, but also to improve on protection.

Another area for SaaS to reach into is database administration. Applying the SaaS model to help assure the database administrator (DBA) function can act as a form of insurance policy. DBAs are system-oriented and are the first responders, if you will, in the case of a serious disaster. For day-to-day operations or for IT staff who are tasked with project-oriented work which requires coding, a database developer is definitely someone who should likely remain in house. In the case of a DBA, that may be a function that can be satisfied with the use of SaaS.

Reaching further, another area with growth potential is that of service-oriented architecture (SOA). SOA governance has become an everyday activity as corporate IT infrastructure allows an organization’s diverse applications to exchange data with one another during the course of business. The ways in which SaaS has evolved suggest ways in which the use of a SaaS solution for SOA will allow companies to better define the features and function of the applications that make up their daily business.

The last area for the future of SaaS lies with customer relationship management (CRM). Many organizations manually process their client information, in addition to billing and settlement. Such tedious paperwork results in missed revenue and unhappy or upset customers. This pain point is an area in which SaaS can offer automation that can significantly speed up the administration, and also effectively lower those costs.

Longer term, as more and more businesses adopt SaaS and demand even more of their service providers, the SaaS model will adapt to offer systems to handle organizational demands. This adaption is necessary in order to sustain and to grow the future of SaaS — if providers don’t listen or look ahead to future opportunities, they’ll lose out.

Posted on : Sep 02 2008
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